2013-2014 US Youth Soccer National League Boys standings remain tight as
third day concludes
The third day of the National League season tends to separate the field as teams settle in after an anxious start to the opening week. But this season is shaping up to be as competitive as ever, with several group standings remaining very close — leaving many teams in the hunt for a division title.
Region I finalist Loudoun 98 Red (VA) has been involved in a few very close games to open its season. The Virginia side has two ties and a hard-fought 1-0 win after three days of play, and head coach Mark Ryan knows his team is gaining valuable experience, in addition to some key points in the standings.
"Where we’re coming from, we win a lot of our games by decent scores. To come here and be involved in such tight games against quality teams — there are no easy games — that’s what we’re looking for," Ryan said. "Our guys need to be challenged by the best players, and certainly the best players are all here.
"Getting that level of challenge, playing against players that are as good as — and in some cases, better than the players we have — that’s how we’re going to get better. That’s why we value this competition and value being here."
National League teams earn their place in the league based on a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions and are among the nation's best. Competing for a league title and a spot in the US Youth Soccer National Championships
, each and every game will play into who represents the National League this summer in Germantown, Md.
The league is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League). The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels.
Some highlights from Saturday's matches…
At the Rocky Mount Sports Complex, Raiders FC (IL) continues to have success in the Under-14 Blue Division. The Illinois squad has won each of its three games but has a tough matchup with CSA 00 Lobos Rush Premier (TN) on Sunday. In the Red Division, Scorpions SC Boston (MA) won a close game over OP Eagles G1 (OH-S) to earn its third win and remain on top of a close group.
Loudoun 98 Red (VA) and Blast FC Red (OH-S) faced each other Saturday in a significant Under-15 Blue Division matchup, as the teams entered the game tied atop the standings with four points each. The two squads played a physical game, with each side creating chances to get an opening goal. Loudoun came close to breaking through in the 51st minute when a shot hit the crossbar, but the Blast keeper saved the follow-up chances to keep the game level. Both defenses held strong, and each team earned a point as they finished in a scoreless tie.
After defeating Scottsdale Blackhawks Davidson (AZ), 2-1, on Saturday, 99 Lobos Rush Premier (TN) is one of four teams in the Under-15 Red Division with at least two wins. Cole Cannon gave the Tennessee side an early two-goal lead after finding the back of the net twice in the first 11 minutes. Scottsdale’s Dantedario Reyes continued the early scoring outburst when he cut the Lobos lead to 2-1 with a 14th-minute goal. The defenses settled down after that early surge of goals, and the game finished with that same score to give Lobos an important victory.
FC Dallas 98 Premier (TX-N) used early goals in each half to win, 3-0, over Grand Rapids Crew Juniors (MI). Gerber Chavez put FC Dallas up with a goal in the seventh minute, and he doubled the lead four minutes later with a second tally. Chavez registered a hat trick shortly after halftime when he hit a rocket just inside the near post to put the Texas side up, 3-0. Grand Rapids had its share of possession but couldn’t get on the scoreboard, as FC Dallas held on for the shutout victory to stay level with Dix Hills Elite (E-NY) at the top of the Under-16 Red Division.
OP Eagles Dublin G1 (OH-S) made a big move in the Under-16 Blue Division by handing Sunrise Elite 97\98 (FL) its first-ever National League defeat. OP Eagles took the lead in the 19th minute when Emmanuel Dapaa converted a rebound opportunity. Jack Holland scored to make it 2-0 a couple minutes later, and Dapaa registered his second goal shortly after halftime to give OP Eagles a much-needed insurance goal. Sunrise didn’t give up and pulled within a goal after Michael Swift scored twice midway through the second half. Despite Sunrise pushing all 11 players into the attacking half of the field in the final minutes, OP Eagles were able to hold on for the 3-2 win.
Under-16 FC Alliance 98 Black (TN) got its first win of the week with a 4-2 victory over Continental FC Premier 97 (E-PA). Lucas Altman’s fifth-minute goal gave FC Alliance an early lead, but Continental tied the game shortly after halftime when Christopher Schlegel found the back of the net. Jeb Gary regained the lead for FC Alliance and Damilola Omitaomu added a goal to put the Tennessee side up, 3-1, in the 74th minute. Schlegel netted his second goal for Continental in the 79th minute, but Jonothan Creel came right back and scored for FC Alliance to seal the 4-2 victory.
In the Under-17 Blue Division, Smithtown Arsenal (E-NY) remained perfect with a hard-fought 1-0 win against CCV Stars 97 Black (AZ). In the 17th minute, Moosah Khanat went around the keeper and finished in front of an open net to put Smithtown in front. That goal was all the defending National Champions needed, as they hung on for their third shutout win in as many games. Smithtown is one of just four teams to have not allowed a goal through three games.
Each game involving Manhattan SC PSG 96 (E-NY) has featured great defense, and that was no different Saturday when the New York side faced Sereno 97 White (AZ). After a scoreless opening half-hour of play, PSG got on the scoreboard thanks to an Amara Sesay goal. Manhattan nearly doubled the lead, but a 59th-minute shot hit the crossbar. The narrow miss didn’t matter, as the defense made sure the one-goal lead held up, and PSG secured its second 1-0 victory of the week. The PSG back line will be tested on Sunday when it faces FC Golden State White (CA-S), which is level with Manhattan at the top of the Under-17 Blue Division.
Since dropping their first game of the season, Fullerton Rangers 96 White (CA-S) have won two straight after defeating GSA Phoenix 97 Premier (GA), 2-1, on Saturday. GSA gained an early advantage when Yosef Samuel scored in the 10th minute. U.S. National Team forward Amirgy Pineda responded for Fullerton in the 48th minute with a tying goal. His cousin, Ronaldo Pineda, put Fullerton up in the 65th minute when he converted a penalty kick. GSA pushed for an equalizer, but the Fullerton keeper punched out a dangerous free kick on the game’s final play to seal the win. Heading into the final day of play in North Carolina, Fullerton sits in third in a crowded Blue Division.
The oldest National League teams headed to the Rocky Mount Sports Complex on Saturday to try and separate themselves in the division standings. Defending National Champion West Coast FC (CA-S) is tied with SC Waukesha 95/96 Blue (WI) at the top of the Blue Division after each side came away with wins in their third game of the week. CUP Gold 95/96 (OH-S), which fell in overtime to West Coast in last year’s National Championship final, continued to roll in the Red Division with its third win in as many games.
The opening weekend of National League Boys action concludes Sunday, Nov. 24. Complete standings, scores and schedules, including goal scorers and match information, can be found at the results page here
. Click on the score of each game for more information.